The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commended People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) for good turnout, in spite of obstacles and challenges during the general elections.
Anthonia Ezeh, INEC’s PWDs Desk Officer in Enugu State, gave the commendation in a goodwill message to a “Post-Election Experience Sharing for Persons with Disabilities’’ held in Enugu on Friday.
Ezeh said: “To our PWD brothers and sisters, I want to say, a big thank you to those that voted in spite of all obstacles, difficulties, did all in their power and participated in the electoral process.
“For those who did not and could not vote, we pray that conditions will be better next time and there will be better representation of PWDs in subsequent elections as power in number cannot be over emphasized,’’
She noted that INEC provided assisting devices for independent voting for PWDs such as braille jackets.
Ezeh said that magnifying glasses were not present in Enugu because the recent mapping of PWDs did not indicate that it was needed in Enugu.
“Posters were supplied but not pasted in some polling units to aid the hearing -impaired.
“For these and other short falls either by INEC or its ad-hoc staff; I wish to apologise to the PWD community and pledge our commitment to do better subsequently,’’ she said.
According to her, in Enugu voter’s apathy was evident; with 1.9 million registered voters and over 1.7 million voters with Permanent Voter’s Cards, we saw less than half a million voters coming out to vote.
“This is very sad, considering the amount of resources invested by INEC, Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders,’’ she said.
Ezeh, however, thanked God for a peaceful, credible and conclusive election conduct in the state.
“I want to use this medium to congratulate the state’s INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Emeka Ononamadu; INEC Administrative Secretary, Chief Enyinnaya Onyekwere and their management staff on the successful conduct of the election.
“I wish to commend the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), its management and staff for the support, especially to the PWDs community and to INEC,’’ she said.